Tag Archives: preschool

Energy Enthusiasm Excitement

2 Dec

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Energy. Enthusiasm. Excitement. These three words perfectly describe Sherri Duskey Rinker, author of the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series and several other books for young people.

Sherri must have been exhausted, she had already had two school visits that day. Yet here she came, eager to meet more fans.

Hosted by The Blue Manatee Bookstore she was here to talk to her audience… a loud rambunctious crowd to say the least. And talk she did. To them. On their level. Matching their energy, enthusiasm, and excitement note for note.

 

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Sherri asked them questions, responded to their questions (and sometimes off-topic comments), and told them stories about herself. And of course she read her newest book, Construction Site on Christmas Night.

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Every eye was focused on the book. Every ear was tuned into the story.  She totally had these kids… mind, body, and spirit. I was in awe of her.

On the way to dinner, I asked my granddaughters what they liked the best. The six year old liked Sherri’s story about her sons. She even compared them to herself and her sister, saying that she goes right to sleep after her stories but that her sister does not. And she liked that the author wrote all their names in the book. The three year old said she wanted chicken nuggets and fries, but not the orange fries her mommy gave her the other day… those were yucky. Yep, even my own prodigy can be off-topic at times!

Thanks for coming to Cincinnati, Sherri! So glad I got to meet you in real life! me and sherry

 

Off topic post script: Orange fries are NOT yucky. Mommy is right, they’re better for you than regular french fries.

 

 

Maggie and Michael Get Dressed

14 Jan

 

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Maggie and Michael Get Dressed

written and illustrated by Denise Fleming

Henry Hold and Company

April, 2016

 

What’s not to love? A boy and his dog, morning routine, and colors! Denise Fleming has done it again, created funny endearing characters while skillfully infusing preschool life-lessons like making choices and self sufficiency.

Even a two year old can tell you that socks belong on your feet not in your mouth, but Maggie loves to chew things. Maggie is a good sport though and allows Michael to dress her before he dresses himself. And I bet no one is surprised that Maggie is found chewing on something when Michael gets home.

I was lucky enough to score an Advanced Reader Edition this week when my friend and critique partner returned from the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards in Boston. Michael and Maggie will be available to everyone in April this year. I’m sure it will quickly become another Fleming classic!

 

One Big Pair of Underwear

29 Sep

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One Big Pair of Underwear written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (2014)

Two bears hate to share, but find only one pair of underwear…one gets the underwear and one cries, ‘That isn’t fair!’ Three young yaks find two salty snacks…two get snacks and one cries, ‘Where’s my snack?’ Four silver seals find three sets of wheels… three get the wheels and one gets a really bad deal.  The pattern continues with more animals who hate to share, until finally twenty pigs find ten tall twisty slides. They all want to ride, so they share the slides by riding piggyback. Now all the other animals see how much fun sharing can be. Pretty soon everyone is sharing and laughing and playing together.

Laura Gehl and Tom Lichtenheld shared the making of this story beautifully! The rhyming text is paired with funny pictures to make a silly rhyming, counting, sharing picture book.

Counting and sharing, sharing and counting… This is a winner for everyone! No one gets left out and everyone has fun, who could ask for more?

Cat Napped!

12 Aug

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Cat Napped! written and illustrated by Leeza Hernandez (2014)

Kitty Cat, Pretty Cat snuggled up in the wrong chair… the one in the back of a pick-up truck. Now she’s headed out of town! There must be some mistake. Kitty jumps from the moving truck and collides with a trash can. Poor Kitty is found by a kind woman who takes her to the pound. All the while, her owner is putting up signs all over town. When her owner calls the pound, she and Kitty are reunited. Aww, love!

Leeza Hernandez is a talented author and illustrator. Cat Napped! is the companion book to the equally clever Dog Gone! (2012). Both books are written in verse and use language young children will enjoy hearing again and again. The simple lines and bright colors are the perfect combination for the preschool crowd.

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I have a special bias toward Leeza Hernandez and hope I can meet her someday as well. Until then, I will continue to sing her praises (metaphorically speaking of course, no one wants to hear me sing). Do yourself a favor, and pick up her books. You’ll thank me for it later.

Early Bird

20 May

18005275Early Bird written and illustrated by Toni Yuly (2014)

This is Toni Yuly’s first picture book. It is a very simple story for preschool readers with a funny and heartwarming twist at the end. Early Bird gets up early. She hurries on her way to find the Early Worm. After her long journey, picks him up with her beak and lays him across the top of a big ripe strawberry so they can have breakfast together!

The story and the illustrations are pure and clean. Bright colors follow the Early Bird as she begins her day, and lead the reader into a wonderful expression of friendship.

Toni Yuly is an artist who must have the heart of a child. I hope to see more of her work to share with my grandchildren.

It’s an Orange Aardvark!

4 May

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It’s an Orange Aardvark! written and illustrated by Michael Hall (2014)

Michael Hall has produced another wonder in picture book magic.  His newest book, It’s an Orange Aardvark! is so much more than a book about colors for preschoolers. Oh no! It’s detailed enough to hold the interest of any fun-loving, humor-loving, gotcha-loving reader. Picture this – a small colony of adventurous, hard-working, construction-hat-wearing, carpenter ants watch as the yellow hatted ant makes a hole in their stump to see what’s outside. With each hole he makes the others imagine what awaits on the outside. They fear it might be an aardvark who is just waiting with his long, sticky tongue to eat them through the peephole. The colors they see through the holes made are both reassuring and terrifying at the same time. What if it’s an orange aardvark? What if it’s an orange aardvark wearing blue pajamas? ‘Goodness! Gracious! Yikes! Whrrr…’ there he goes drilling another hole. With each hole, which is an actual hole in the pages of the book, the reader and the carpenter ants see another color and imagine another terrible disaster. In the end, they see a beautiful rainbow and dare to go outside.  ‘Yippee! Hooray! Whee! Arrrggghhh!’

Michael Hall has done it again! He’s created more than a color concept book, his artwork and story are masterful. A really funny and interactive gem for toddlers.

This is definitely one I’ll share with my family and friends!

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

7 Oct

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Llama llama and the Bully Goat written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney (2013)

As promised… last week when I met Anna Dewdney at a book signing event in Cincinnati, I promised to review this book. Here it is.

Sorry it took me a little longer than expected to write this review, but I do have a good excuse.  It was my grand daughter’s third birthday this weekend.  On the bright side though, I do have her reaction to this book as well as my own review!

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat is a wonderfully written picture book for the preschool crowd addressing the issue of bullies in a realistic yet sweet way.  Llama and his friends at school run into problems with billy goat who laughs at others, says ‘not-nice words’, and is mean on the playground.  Llama tells the teacher and she has a talk with the class during circle time.  By the end of the story the billy goat is singing with the rest of the class and everyone goes home happy.

I liked that even though the billy goat was a bully goat, Anna Dewdney presented him as a character with flaws who is still likable.  It’s so important that young children realize the difference between bad behavior and a bad person.  She also presented a solution that little ones can implement in their own dealings with bullies or friends who can be mean sometimes.

Little Juliana listened to this book so seriously!   She repeated after me and asked ‘why’ on every page.  She’s still at the why stage, so we had lots to talk about.  She was so happy that the billy goat was nice and that llama and the billy goat were friends at the end of the book.

“Read it again!” … highest praise for an author!

So, from me and my grand daughter… two thumbs up!

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